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Wax Print Textile, ABC Pattern

Arts of Africa

This contemporary “ABC” fabric is similar to a cloth on an innermost layer in the featured egúngún (see photograph). Colorful patterned cottons like this were first created in Holland to imitate Javanese batiks. Since their nineteenth-century invention, these widely traded textiles have been nicknamed “African print” because of their ubiquity on much of the continent. Known in Nigeria as “wax,” “hollandais,” or “ankara,” such patterned cottons were printed both locally and abroad, with new designs made to African aesthetic preferences. Consumers chose the “ABC” pattern to demonstrate that they valued education. As the Dutch company Vlisco invented the “ABC” pattern in 1920, the egúngún could have been made no earlier than that year for the printed cloth to have been sewn inside it. “ABC” has remained in constant production for nearly a century, as this recent example demonstrates.
MANUFACTURER Vlisco B.V.
MEDIUM Cotton, synthetic dye
DATES ca. 2018
DIMENSIONS 36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
EXHIBITIONS
ACCESSION NUMBER 2019.1.3
CREDIT LINE Gift of Vlisco B.V.
RIGHTS STATEMENT
CAPTION Vlisco B.V.. Wax Print Textile, ABC Pattern, ca. 2018. Cotton, synthetic dye, 36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Vlisco B.V., 2019.1.3 (Photo: , 2019.1.3_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2019.1.3_PS9.jpg., 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One of six color variations of a wax print textile in the ABC pattern.
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Vlisco B.V.. <em>Wax Print Textile, ABC Pattern</em>, ca. 2018. Cotton, synthetic dye, 36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Vlisco B.V., 2019.1.3 (Photo: , 2019.1.3_PS9.jpg)